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Online LCSW Courses and Training Programs

Courses to become a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) are offered as part of master's degree programs in clinical social work. Distance learning programs are offered at several universities; in these programs, students complete the entire didactic portion of the program online and also do an internship/fieldwork component near their homes.

Online Courses for Aspiring Licensed Clinical Social Workers

Here are some of the courses found in the online portion of a master's degree program in clinical social work.

  • Introduction to Social Work Practice: In this course, students explore general theories of social work and practice methodologies in problem-solving with individuals, families and groups. Primary emphasis is placed on data collection, assessment, planning and intervention.
  • Women's Issues & Social Work: This course is designed to familiarize students with the social influences that affect women throughout their lives. Students cover the various issues that affect social work habits including the intersection of race, age, social class and sexual orientation.
  • Social Welfare Policy and Services: This course provides students with an opportunity to investigate the relationships among social welfare and public policy in American society. Emphasis is placed on understanding these relationships in terms of social and economic justice.
  • Social Work Ethics: This course provides students with a base of knowledge and skills to prepare them for making effective and ethical decisions that comply with the ethics and standards of professional social work practice. Both contemporary and historical ethical approaches are discussed, as well as the repercussions of each.
  • Social Work Research: In this course, students learn about designing research projects, measurement and sampling in the context of social work.
  • Human Behavior in the Social Environment: In this course, students learn about the social factors that affect people's behavior, including oppression, privilege and cultural identity. Emphasis is placed on how understanding human behavior can help social workers build strong relationships within a community.
  • Racial Justice: In this course, students learn how racism affects social work. Students learn about the conceptual aspects of racism, the history of race relations and the current efforts toward social change as it relates to racial identity.

Program Information

All states require a Master of Social Work in order to apply for licensure as a clinical social worker. An online master's degree takes about three years to complete. Field placement usually begins after the first year and continues throughout the program, while students take the didactic coursework online. Students generally find a field placement through a social service agency near their home.

In online master's degree programs, aspiring social workers can take courses that provide the education they need for licensure and future career success.


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